Taking a break from figuring out how to balance the state’s budget, legislators in the Texas House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to fine drivers up to $200 for writing emails, texts or instant messages while driving a vehicle. According to the bill, we can still read texts while driving, we just can’t send them. Other exclusions: We can text while sitting at a stoplight or stop sign, as long as the car isn’t moving.

According to a DMN story about the debate, the bill’s original wording also outlawed reading texts while driving, but that language was removed after it was pointed out that reading texts was no more difficult to do while driving than “applying lipstick or changing radio stations”.

The Texas Senate and Gov. Rick Perry still need to OK the provision before it becomes law.

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